Most Disappointing Story Lines: DC Comics

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Posted by inferiorego (21094 posts) - - Show Bio

We all have our favorite on going series, and there's nothing better than curling up on the couch with your favorite book and reading an amazing adventure featuring characters you love. That being said, there's nothing worse than curling up on that same couch and reading your favorite comic which happens to have a horrible, HORRIBLE storyline. It happens to all of us. It can be a new creative team, an editor's decision, a cross-over event invading your book, or the writer could be on their way out of the book and just phones it in. We all deal with the occasion bad storyline.

What are some of my least favorite storylines from any comic series? Well, if you go back through any long running comic book series, you're bound to find a stinker in there now and then, and I found quite a few. I set some ground rules for picking out my least favorite. The book has to be post-One Year Later, it has to be from a series I was reading and truly enjoying, and it has to be from a series that hit at least 50 issues. It didn't take me long to narrow it down to three storylines I hated.

Superman: Grounded

What Was Going on Before this Storyline?

For the first time, in a long time, I was really enjoying SUPERMAN. New Krypton appeared on the other side of the sun, and Superman was off planet. New Krypton was a pretty cool and grand idea, so what was happening in SUPERMAN? Mon-El was released from the Phantom Zone, and he became the protector Metropolis. It was a really cool storyline and a nice way to finish off the New Krypton epic. It was nice to see another character take the reigns of SUPERMAN. However, after the destruction of New Krypton, Superman comes back... Cue the next storyline: Grounded.

What Was Grounded?

Superman goes for a walk. During this walk, he helps out random people, but that's pretty much all that happens. Superman has gone through a lot, in the past few years, and it all comes crashing down on him to a point where he decides he just needs to go for a walk: no flying, no super-speed, just walking.

Why Was it so Disappointing?

He's just walking. It's like someone watched the scene in Forrest Gump where he just "feels like runnin'," and they made into a whole storyline, which never really finished. Superman has a ridiculous amount of powers and some really cool villains, but we got none of that. The whole idea of Superman reconnecting with the common man, in theory, is a decent idea, but it really didn't work on paper. Simply put, the story was boring.

Worst Moment:

That overwhelming feeling like I'm watching an after-school special in comic book form.

This was the first time I read a book where I want to preform the title of the story line on a creative team... I wanted to ground them... to their room... without supper.

Nightwing: One Year Later

What Was Going on Before this Storyline?

Prior to One Year Later, Nightwing began working with Ravager under the name "Renegade," in a red costume, much like his costume in the New 52. Dick Grayson is forced into this predicament by Deathstroke and has to walk the thing line between hero and villain. Dick's job is to train Ravager and teach her everything he knows, since Deathstroke considers Nightwing to be a formidable villain. Although it's not a breakthrough storyline, it's one of my favorite from this Nightwing volume, which was incredibly enjoyable during it's run, prior to One Year Later.

What Was One Year Later?

It started off with a bang as two Nightwings invade New York City, and one of them happened to be Jason Todd masquerading as Bludhaven's hero. The only difference between the two is that Jason Todd is fine with killing those who break the law, something Nightwing would never do. They both end up investigating the same crime, only to find out the culprits can transform into monsters.

Why Was it so Disappointing?

There was a third, female Nightwing, for starters, and the weird monsters that can encase you in green goo which can turn into a solid addition to the story was not helping. They also changed Jason Todd (a character who writers constantly change around, and by change I mean "screw with") by saying that he, too, can change into one of these goo-spitting monster. For me, this is the most memorable case of good ideas (Jason Todd and Dick Grayson fighting to be Nightwing) gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Worst Moment?

When Jason Todd turns into the giant goo monster and eats a guy... only to vomit him up right afterwords. Seeing is believing...

Some things you just can't unsee...

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis

What Was Going on Before this Storyline?

Prior to this bizarre, almost reboot of Aquaman, San Diego had fallen into the sea and become "Sub-Diego." Anton Geist gave its inhabitants the ability to breathe underwater, and Aquaman, with his water-hand, because the city's savior. It was, up until the New 52 reboot, my favorite Aquaman story of all time, until One Year Later, when Aquaman was, well... not himself.

What Was Sword of Atlantis?

AQUAMAN: SWORD OF ATLANTIS was the vision of Kurt Busiek and then, in issue 50, fantasy writer Tad Williams. Arthur Joseph Curry becomes Aquaman. No, it's not THAT Arthur Curry. Basically, it's Aquaman with a sword who has a squid-like friend who calls himself Dweller of the Depths. Later on, Dweller dies, and it is revealed to the reader that Dweller was the true Aquaman who got changed into that weird sea creature during the missing year in DC.

Why Was it so Disappointing?

Other than the fact they turned the original Aquaman into a squid, then killed him, Sword of Atlantis was incredibly dull and lifeless. It took a book that was a ton of fun, and tried to add a fantasy element to it. I jokingly called it a poor man's Conan, but drowning. Giving an underwater super-hero a sword and song hair just doesn't work. Aquaman tried that a few years prior except replace the sword with a hook. And once again, they killed off the original Aquaman...

Worst Moment:

Have I mentioned they made Aquaman a squid, then killed him off?

Even seeing this now angers me... And it's not just because the dialogue is awful.

There you have it. Some of the most diappointing, post One Year Later story lines from some of my favorite books over the years. From Superman taking a walk, to Jason Todd puking up people, to Aquaman dying as he lived: an old squid-man. These are just a few of my least favorite DC story lines. What do you guys think? Are their any story lines from DC that you think are terribly disappointing?

Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring is a writer, comedian, and a whole bunch of other things. Check out his twitter page where he yells about comics and yells about football.

Staff
#1 Posted by Mad_Wolverine (228 posts) - - Show Bio

Well this brings back memories...

#2 Posted by inferiorego (21094 posts) - - Show Bio

By the way, a VERY VERY close 4th place is the Marc Guggenheim run of Justice Society of America (right before the new 52) where he completely destorys the team and makes Alan Scott into a giant lantern.

Staff
#3 Posted by danhimself (22207 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't say that the storyline involving her was all that great I did however like Cheyenne Freemont and was kind of disappointed that she and the rest of the New York story lines from Nightwing were dropped and forgotten about when R.I.P. started

#4 Posted by Billy Batson (57704 posts) - - Show Bio

Is there going to be a Marvel one too?
BB

#5 Posted by hero4hire (22 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm glad I read this.

#6 Posted by inferiorego (21094 posts) - - Show Bio

@Billy Batson said:

Is there going to be a Marvel one too?
BB

yes there is!

Staff
#7 Posted by Jslab425 (51 posts) - - Show Bio

Agreed! Great list -- in fact, I dropped out of comics until Blackest Night as a result of Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis.

They turned Aquaman into a squid and then killed him!!!

#8 Posted by The Poet (8287 posts) - - Show Bio

those do sound...lovely

Moderator
#9 Posted by Billy Batson (57704 posts) - - Show Bio

@inferiorego said:

@Billy Batson said:

Is there going to be a Marvel one too?
BB

yes there is!

You could probably do the whole list with their events.
BB

#10 Posted by Baal Zak (355 posts) - - Show Bio

Well... Final Crisis and Batman RIP were pretty disappointing.

#11 Posted by EugeneSaxe (227 posts) - - Show Bio

Does the New 52 count? If so, that.

#12 Posted by DarthShap (874 posts) - - Show Bio

Grounded was a stupid idea from the get go. Ironically, Supes is already the most human hero in the DCU so he really does not need it. On top of that, he is supposed to have a wife, family and friends, a job and the world to save from time to time. The whole thing was dumb and pretentious.

Concerning Nightwing, both Renegade and Brothers in Blood were rather bad. Renegade because it made no sense, was either completely unbelievable or out of character. Brothers in Blood was just weird. I heard that there was a lot of editorial intervention because Dick was supposed to be killed in IC, Jason was supposed to take his place and as a consequence, everything was rewritten several times but the result? It is just a mess.

#13 Posted by NightFang (9810 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mad_Wolverine said:

Well this brings back memories...

#14 Posted by snyderman567 (152 posts) - - Show Bio

Final Crisis, Amazons Attack for starters.

#15 Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee (10899 posts) - - Show Bio

@inferiorego said:

By the way, a VERY VERY close 4th place is the Marc Guggenheim run of Justice Society of America (right before the new 52) where he completely destorys the team and makes Alan Scott into a giant lantern.

I completely hated the fact that they crippled Alan Scott. It was completely unnecessary. The entire story line had potential had they done it right. Such a shame.

#16 Posted by pspin (891 posts) - - Show Bio

The last arc in Batgirl before the New 52 was disappointing, not as bad as these but still disappointing.

#17 Posted by Skruff (5 posts) - - Show Bio

Agreed on all of these (plus the JSA one in the comments).... However, I did like Aquaman with the hook. I thought Peter David's run was brilliant, and it made me a real fan of the character for the first time ever. The current run is the only version of the "classic" Aquaman that I've ever read for more than an issue or two.

#18 Posted by The Cyan Lantern (240 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Cheyenne (third female Nightwing) didn't ruin the arc but Jason's bit is to blame. She to me was a only was casualty to what the boys were doing. Singly, I think there can be still room for her to develop into a important figure in Dick's life given the right story. Someone who is tough, not too emotionally dependent on men, and different from Dick's other lovers (Barbra and Kory).

#19 Posted by JonesDeini (3619 posts) - - Show Bio

Road to Flash Point, War of The Green Lanterns, Brightest Day...well honestly most of Johns during 2010/11

#20 Posted by notarandomguy (316 posts) - - Show Bio

Only ''good'' part of Final Crisis was when Barry returned, no one can't say it wasn't u_u, I believe Batman R.I.P wasn't that great but it had its moments, could had been better but again, it had its moments.... a friend of mine wants to say war of lights, please tell him he is wrong (it doesn't even count as a one year later story but he won't shut up) D: !!! brothers in blood was good till they decided Dick shouldn't die and started the never ending rewriting , if you won't kill him why you think about it in the first place? just saying but maybe I'm wrong

#21 Posted by Inverno (13021 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow never read any of this comics

#22 Posted by Video_Martian (5631 posts) - - Show Bio

Did Aquaman REALLY turn into a Squid-Man?!? LOL

#23 Posted by Grim (2078 posts) - - Show Bio

@inferiorego said:

By the way, a VERY VERY close 4th place is the Marc Guggenheim run of Justice Society of America (right before the new 52) where he completely destorys the team and makes Alan Scott into a giant lantern.

lol i hated that! i was JUST getting into JSA (Right before KC Superman showed up) and then hey just ...shat on everything. I was disappointed with that Eclipso story too, as I used to read Starman religiously and he played a big part in the old Eclipso fight.

Also, yes on Grounded. There where like 2 good stories. it seemed almost like someone had a good idea, and DC decided to make it a full Story Line instead of just the one or two issues it should have been. And then he seemed to take the absolute opposite lesson he should have from it when he suddenly decided to begin downplaying his connection to the US.

in closing, let me add to the list that story with Cyborg's old friend turned Second-Cyborg, the Secret Six Blackest Night story, and that last half of Deathstrokes Titans.

#24 Posted by pikahyper (11351 posts) - - Show Bio

Sword of Atlantis really was disgraceful, easily the worst run for Aquaman... There is no middle ground for Busiek, whatever he puts out is either epic or a disgusting failure.

Moderator
#25 Posted by Decept-O (7274 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh, man, you could write SO MANY articles regarding bad story lines in comics. Every week. Without much effort to find the stinkers in the piles.

I don't mean just DC, though, but other companies as well.

Curious if there might be other story lines from other comic book publishers for possible future articles like this one?

#26 Posted by inferiorego (21094 posts) - - Show Bio

@Decept-O: there is a Marvel one coming up featuring My least favorite story line of all time.

Staff
#27 Posted by goldenkey (2927 posts) - - Show Bio

so far Im only really digging Batman, Redhood and Deathstroke. All the others are kinds sucky right now. JLA is okay but it's dragging ass.

#28 Posted by cincyducksfan35 (129 posts) - - Show Bio

The Nightwing One Year later is easily the worst thing I have ever read from DC. I wanted to read a Nightwing GN and stood looking at them all and for some reason I picked this one. What a mistake...

#29 Posted by bane122 (29 posts) - - Show Bio

To me, some of Grounded still seems like a solid concept. A lost, depressed Superman trying to cope with the fallout of New Krypton is an interesting one, unfortunately it was barely touched on and the story was dragged out way longer than it really needed to be. Seems like it could have been a 4-6 issue story.

#30 Posted by shawn87 (2095 posts) - - Show Bio

Haven't read Grounded, wasn't crazy about that Nightwing story either and I hated that Aquaman story

#31 Edited by Dreadmaster (16778 posts) - - Show Bio

Blackest Night's ending kinda disappointed me, and the GL run after the BL tie-ins were disappointing as well.

#32 Posted by fodigg (6130 posts) - - Show Bio

Yep, good picks.

#33 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19714 posts) - - Show Bio

@inferiorego: You forgot to mention that Grounded had the most Superdickery outside of a Silver Age comic book.

#34 Posted by King Quisling (1980 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh gosh, you nailed it with all of these. That grounded arc was especially upsetting because JMS usually delivers practically flawless stories.

#35 Posted by 8diagrams (20 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice read. It would be cool if you did one for Marvel or even an ongoing article of old storylines revisited.

I personally liked the whole Aquaman with the hook thing. Peter David's run was a nice one for sure. New 52s Aquaman is my fav so far though.

Grounded was an interesting story but it was just too dull.

#36 Posted by sj_esposito (457 posts) - - Show Bio

I almost forgot about these (willingly, perhaps?)... They were awful.

#37 Posted by kamionero (312 posts) - - Show Bio

Lol i love this article. I want a marvel version next!

#38 Posted by kingoftheworld (254 posts) - - Show Bio

Make this a weekly feature and cover every publisher.DO MARVEL NEXT. DO MARVEL NEXXTTTTTT.

#39 Posted by The Impersonator (4899 posts) - - Show Bio

@inferiorego said:

@Billy Batson said:

Is there going to be a Marvel one too?
BB

yes there is!

oh....great. -__-

#40 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

Can't help but agree with you on Grounded. I mean I liked the ending but yes, there were far too many instances in which I just was hearing Tom Hanks say "life is like a box of chocolates..." As for the others I can't attest to just yet except to say that they do sound rather disappointing.

#41 Posted by BatClaw89 (144 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman is safe from this. I do agree with the list bur Nightwing wasn't that bad compared to the rest.

#42 Posted by The Stegman (22705 posts) - - Show Bio

i liked Superman Grounded

Online
#43 Posted by higher_evolutionary (2015 posts) - - Show Bio
@inferiorego
loooooooooooooooooooooool cant stop laughing about the nightwing worst moment
can you do more of these articles
#44 Posted by Meteorite (3351 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't actually read DC, but from what I hear Armageddon 2001 was terrible because they made a last-minute switch of the villain's secret identity, and then things sorta... collapsed.

#45 Posted by higher_evolutionary (2015 posts) - - Show Bio

grounded was the worst comic ever written

#46 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

You definitely need to do this as a weekly thing. This can generate so much discussion, because for me the most important thing in comics is storyline. More "Most Disappointing Storylines"..and not just for DC but for all companies. Who's with me?

#47 Posted by Miss_Garrick (1757 posts) - - Show Bio

I could mention the DC and Marvel stories I thought were the lamest, but nobody would want to spend the next 20 days hearing me explain why they were so lame. You all have better things to do.

#48 Edited by Tigerstriper (455 posts) - - Show Bio

Most Disappionting Marvel Story Lines

Ultimate X-Men: Hellfire & Brimstone

Ultimate X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Statix

#49 Posted by DarthShap (874 posts) - - Show Bio

@bane122 said:

To me, some of Grounded still seems like a solid concept. A lost, depressed Superman trying to cope with the fallout of New Krypton is an interesting one, unfortunately it was barely touched on and the story was dragged out way longer than it really needed to be. Seems like it could have been a 4-6 issue story.

Except that it was already out of character from the get-go. When Superman feels depressed, he goes back to Smallville and spends time with his mother, Connor, Krypto or speaks with his wife his cousin or his best pals, Bats or Jimmy Olsen. If he really wants to spend some time alone, he goes to the freakin' fortress of solitude.

Everything about the JMS arrival felt like the nuclear option, and the same goes for Wonder-Woman.

#50 Posted by SexualLobster (995 posts) - - Show Bio

@Miss_Garrick said:

I could mention the DC and Marvel stories I thought were the lamest, but nobody would want to spend the next 20 days hearing me explain why they were so lame. You all have better things to do.

..I don't..

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